The trend began more than a decade ago, when significant numbers of Californians decided they had had enough of the Golden State’s political insanity and moved, mostly to Texas.
But it turns out that thousands and thousands of California U-Hauls heading to the Lone Star State was just the first wave of what is beginning to look like a demographic transformation that could result in a political earthquake.
An earthquake was not what anybody was predicting a decade ago when the first signs of movement began to appear. Much of the migration out of California was associated with Big Tech, whose workers tended overwhelmingly to be liberal-left Democrats. Austin was already weird and the moves only meant it would get weirder.
But it wasn’t just Big Tech and it wasn’t just corporations searching for more business-friendly economic climates. Check out the latest data from Trafalgar Group’s nationwide survey of 1,000 general election likely voters on whether or not they intend to “vote with their feet” by moving to a state more aligned with their values. You can read the full details of this particular survey here.
Trafalgar conducts these surveys regularly, by the way, for the Convention of States Action, one of the leading lights in the movement to convene a new constitutional convention in response to the call of the people represented by at least 34 state legislatures.
The first key insight, according to Trafalgar, is that Independents and Republicans are four times as likely to have already moved to a place that is more hospitable to their values.
4.1 percent of Independents say they have moved in the last 3 years to a region that aligns more closely with their personal beliefs.
4.4 percent of Republicans say they have moved in the last 3 years to a region that aligns more closely with their personal beliefs.
1.1 percent of Democrats say they have moved in the last 3 years to a region that aligns more closely with their personal beliefs.
In other words, Independents and Republicans have in recent years been four times as likely to pick up and change their address in search of neighbors to whom they can relate, at least on most issues.
But wait! There’s more. Much more, as it turns out, if Trafalgar’s numbers prove to be on target. Why? Because the trend is going to be accelerating in coming years, and that means the alignments of national politics may well be about to shift big-time:
9.6 percent of Independents say they are planning on moving in the next year to a region that aligns more closely with their personal beliefs.
10.4 percent of Republicans say they are planning on moving in the next year to a region that aligns more closely with their personal beliefs.
2.1 percent of Democrats say they are planning on moving in the next year to a region that aligns more closely with their personal beliefs.
Think about that — One of every 10 Republicans are planning, not just thinking about, pulling up stakes and heading to a Texas, Florida, Tennessee, one of the Carolinas or another state with a distinctly red political cast.
And some noticeable number of Democrats will be leaving those red states for bluer climes, with a result that more congressional seats will become easier pickings for smart GOP candidates. Could it be that Red Wave predicted for 2022 will actually come ashore in 2024?
There are no guarantees in politics, of course, but numbers like these cannot be ignored by strategists in either of the major political parties. And don’t forget the increasing indications of Hispanic voters shifting to the GOP.
Convention of the States President Mark Meckler likes what he sees:
“It has been well documented that there has been a significant exodus of citizens from blue states since the start of COVID. But this incredible data reveals that it is Republicans and Independents who have voted with their feet and moved to states more aligned with their values. One of the hidden insights of the 2022 election—the red states got redder, and the blue states got bluer.”
Meckler calls the process “the Great Decoupling,” as the nation’s political divisions intensify and the wisdom of the Founders’ move to decentralize and divide the power of government becomes more and more evident.
My question is this, however: Will the decoupling buy time for America’s political tensions to dissipate as the red states get redder and the blue states bluer, or will the stark reality of irreconcilable differences become irrepressible?